Ended Thursday / 7:00pm History US 45 min.
A six episode series that explores the world of tattoos belonging to the intense modern day tribes that operate at the edges of society, including 1% motorcycle clubs, hardcore prisons, urban gangs and street culture.

Season 1

6 Episodes

In Southern California, black and grey tattoos connect a culture that started in the barrios of Los Angeles in the 1940s and survives on today's rough streets. Amid the sun and palm trees, ink marks territory and serves as a reminder of blood spilled on neighbourhood streets. Marked dives into the origins of this distinctive tattoo style, born in the violent, gang-saturated California prisons and refined on the streets of LA. Artist Freddy Negrete, one of the originators of the Chicano style, takes us on an exclusive journey, deep into this unknown world, where we decode the ink that decorates the bodies of current and former Chicano gang members.
Oct 01 2009
In Russian prisons, tattoos tell all. From crimes committed to time served and even ranking within the strict hierarchy, these dark and detailed works of art are a secret language that contains all vital information and can mean the difference between power and subjugation. Marked goes deep inside the world of Russia's infamous prisons, revealing how these illegal images are controlled by the ruthless Thieves in Law, the notorious gang that rules the prisons with an iron fist. We decode the mysteries and meanings behind the ink through the accounts of violent ex-cons and career criminals, who reveal their terrifying deeds and the brutal conditions inside Russian prisons.
Sep 24 2009
The warriors of the United States military use ink to symbolize their secret lives, lived on the edge. Coded symbols indicate membership in elite, highly trained units. Tattoos memorialize battles fought and friends lost. From the shores of France and the jungles of Vietnam, to the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan and dusty streets of Iraq, soldiers, sailors and marines have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In this episode of Marked, we explore the origins of military tattoos, from the ancient warriors of the Roman Empire to the Western sailors who brought ink to these shores. We hear from veterans and men currently serving, as they share their stories of combat and survival, and decode the ink that decorates their bodies.
Sep 17 2009
No criminal group in the world is more closely identified with tattoos than the largest - Japan's Yakuza, 80,000 strong. In this episode of Marked, we go deep into Japan's underground for an exclusive look at the stunning full bodysuits of ink that mark the skin of today's Yakuza. Hidden within the layers of spectacular imagery are secret codes that reach far back into Japan's bloody samurai history: violent warriors, images of hell, prostitutes, and a range of predators from tigers to dragons. We hear from Yakuza as they share stories of their criminal pasts, the significance of their tattoos, and the pain they experienced in getting most of their bodies tattooed the old fashioned way: by getting poked over and over again with needles fastened to the ends of sticks.
Sep 10 2009
For outlaw motorcycle gangs, tattoos prove dedication and mark alliances. The bikers who wear them live by their own set of rules. Marked goes inside the clubhouses of three of these underground organisations to examine how ink separates these riders from the pack. Witness rituals never before seen on television, as members get permanently branded with tattoos rife with dark, devilish iconography. The engines roar as we decode the hidden meanings of some of the most popular biker images and learn what it takes to live the rough and tumble biker lifestyle.
Sep 03 2009
In prison, tattoos represent self-identification and belonging. To those who have them, they represent the rejection of straight society and membership in the outlaw class. Marked goes deep into the culture of prison tattoos, discovering how these illegal marks are secretly created behind bars, and decoding the meaning of the strange symbols that cover many prisoners' bodies. We explore the secrets behind the marks through the experiences of current and former prisoners, and examine the bloody ways that these initiation marks are earned.
Aug 27 2009